Sunday, February 02, 2014

Renewed . . . Repurposed (Peter Black)

Were you raised in a home where resources were scarce and you were taught to not waste anything, but to recycle and reuse whenever possible and reasonable? I was, and today I could be rightly accused of going overboard (my Beloved hands down a firm “guilty” verdict!).

Here’s a recent example of my ingrained recycle and reuse mindset. I had several tangerine boxes gathering dust under my workshop bench. I’d reclaimed (or 'rescued') them from my wife’s “gotta get these out of the house” crosshairs.
I’d held on to them along with an assortment of other odds-an’-ends, in case they came in handy for mending or making something useful. After dismantling one I glued and clamped the sides together, to make thicker plywood.
That reclaimed and renovated boxwood, along with a piece of used pine board (left over from a dismantled pew) and a few inches of dowelling, was recreated. It became – with the aid of scroll- saw, buff-grinder and sandpaper among other things – a handsome model motorcycle. That new creation now sits on our sixth-grade grandson’s bedroom dresser.

This iStock pic is way fancier than our creation!
Another element in the process was his contribution to the project, as he practiced using the machines and developing his skills. A further benefit: the project kept him occupied for hours during snow days that brought him and his young sister to Grandma and Grandpa’s place.
And so, we reclaimed then recycled and reused, by using the wood to make stronger wood for the new creation. The same is basically true of the reclaimed pine wood. (It was only a small scrap piece. I’m sure some folk would have tossed it out or chopped it into smaller pieces for kindling.)

Now let’s introduce another aspect: we repurposed. Whereas the product we created was a small and modest representation of a motorcycle, the purpose in the process was to fill time and to engage and occupy an active schoolboy. Moreover, the exercise provided teachable moments and was an occasion for relationship-building. And, he also had something to play with or admire at the end of the day.

Quite often my post to this blog is a slightly modified edition of articles written for a weekly column called P-Pep! in a newspaper that serves several rural communities. This piece is based on one, although in this case there’s more modification than usual. Generally-speaking, minor reorientation and tweaking provide a different readership the opportunity to read the musings. I hope that the other reading audience will gain a helpful slant on life and faith.

Several weeks ago I sent off a manuscript to a writer colleague. It contains a collection of 52 P-Pep! articles, interspersed with brief statements that I call Words to Bless. He’ll review and critique them. While those reworked items clearly reflect the original, in some respects they’re quite different. Once the manuscript returns to me I’ll further modify them. I plan to include them in my current work in progress book project, to reach a wider audience than before. Reclaimed, recycled, reused and repurposed.

That is what God does with our lives when we come to with absolute sincerity. We may look fine on the outside, but may be wasted within. Some of us may appear obviously damaged and broken. Whatever our condition, when we abandon ourselves to the mercy and grace of God, He works the wonders of His grace from the inside out.

Reclaimed, recycled, reused and repurposed – new creations designed and destined to demonstrate God’s gracious handiwork through us:
“. . . if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing. 
Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN 1897373-21-X)
His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. Peter’s current book project comprises a collection of 52 column articles.


Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Thank you Peter. Loved the analogy of repurposed wood and a repurposed life.

Tracy Krauss said...

In this day when so many people 'talk the talk' about recycling and repurposing, it is nice to hear about someone putting it into practice. On a deeper level, I loved the way you brought the piece around to redemption in Christ.

Glynis said...

Sign me up for a copy of Words to Bless! (Signed copy, of course!)

I laughed when I read your words - 'come in handy.' That was one of my momma's favourite sayings and my Dad is notorious for saying this, still! Love it.

And the main point - Oh the wonder of His grace! Lovely post, Peter!

Kathleen Gibson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen Gibson said...

With disability in our family and often in our circles, one of my challenges is helping young grandchildren comprehend the truth you referred to in your second last paragraph, Peter: that though someone may appear wasted, the inner reality may be very different. I've come to realize that the best way to teach our young b'loveds this is to allow them to see their trusted adults attributing worth to those who may not fit the world's definition of attractive. Thanks for this winsome example from your life. (By the way, I was raised in a 4R kind of home too.)

Peter Black said...

Rose, Tracy, Glynis and Kathleen, thank you for your generous comments and the various facets you reflect, each of which assure me that 'I'm on track' -- or close enough! :)
I confess though, I drive my wife round the bend with my conservation mindset (heh, heh! I do go overboard).
Ah, but Redemption is at the heart of God, from whence our Redeemer came. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Well as long as you don't drive your lovely May around the bend with your conversation! (I read it incorrectly the first time around! :)

Janis Cox said...

I can make a connection to my own life and "retirement" - God has put my life into a realignment for Him. I am repurposed.

Kimberley Payne said...

I remember wrapping my lunch sandwiches in waxed paper, and using the same piece over and over again. Great post Peter!

Peter Black said...

Oh, but I drive her round the bend with my conversation, too. (There's probably some truth to the saying that opposites attract.)
But isn't it amazing that after 47 of marriage I haven't lost even an ounce of my ability to do that! ;)

And Jan, that's a good addition to the redemptive "re" range -- "realignment for Him." ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I so well know about all the stuff stashed that my husband says he may need some day. I like your presentation of the reuse, recycle in our Christian faith.

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